We set off the night before to station ourselves at a refugio (shelter) half way along the valley leading to these amazing towers of rock, in order to give ourselves a better starting point for a dawn hike. However we were told some way into this trek that being out of season, the refugio had shut 2 weeks earlier (I might add its very difficult finding out important information like this prior to heading there!)- we returned to our refugio starting point to try and hire camping equipment, but as dusk fell this was becoming of little advantage. So we decided to sleep the night here at the head of the valley, and crept out from our dorm at 3am next morning for the 4 hours approach in the dark by way of headtorch.
Against all expectations, it was calm and clear. A little tipsy from too may pisco sours and only 4 hours sleep, our adrenalin kept us going- the mystique of a starlit steep valley with the distant thunder of a glacial river far below, and big sections of spooky woods, was pretty exhilerating.
The final 45 minute scramble up the loose moraine, cursing the weight of the camera equipment, was all worth it when we were awarded as the first light hit the towers.
The return journey in the blazing sun just wasn't the same...